Bucs put NFL-high four players on All-Rookie Team
Rookies have been a major part of the Bucs' success this past season, and that continued Tuesday as Tampa Bay had a league-high four players -- QB Jameis Winston, LT Donovan Smith, RG Ali Marpet and LB Kwon Alexander -- honored on the Pro Football Writers Association's All-Rookie Team.
Winston and Smith played every offensive snap for the Bucs -- Winston became just the third rookie quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards and reset the Bucs' rookie passing records, including 22 passing touchdowns. Winston, however, was beaten out by Rams running back Todd Gurley for the PFWA's Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year, with Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters honored as Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Marpet started 14 games, missing two with an ankle injury, and Alexander started 12 games at middle linebacker before missing the final four games on a suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Alexander had 93 tackles, including six for losses, as well as three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumble. Of the 22 players honored on offense or defense on the All-Rookie team, only two were drafted lower than Alexander, who went to the Bucs in the fourth round in April.
The Bucs' four players honored were the most of any NFL team -- the Vikings had three players honored, and the Seahawks had two, with Tyler Lockett honored three times -- for punt return, kickoff return and special teams.